Shaun Ricker is an American professional wrestler signed with WWE. He is best known for his work as Eli Drake in Impact and LA Knight in WWE. He is a former Impact and Tag Team Champion. Ricker was brought up to SmackDown in 2022 where he was renamed to Max Dupri before being renamed again to his current name - LA Knight.
Shaun Ricker was born on the 1st of November in 1982. He was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, United States of America. Ricker started watching wrestling at the age of 3. Ricker has two siblings and is the youngest of the three. He was brought up in his hometown and shifted to Cincinnati following his graduation. In 2003, Ricker started training for his pro wrestling career at the age of 20 before starting working regularly in 2004 in Heartland Wrestling Association.
In 2003, Ricker began his professional wrestling career on the independent circuit. He worked for several known promotions, such as CWFH, DDT Pro Wrestling, NOAH, EFW, and NWA. In 2013, Ricker had a small run in WWE before leaving in 2014.
In 2015, Ricker made his TNA debut as Eli Drake. Soon, he joined The Rising against their feud with The Beat Down Club. After The Rising disbanded, Drake entered the World Title Series and lost. In 2016, he feuded with Grado and lost. In May, he cashed in his contract and won the TNA King of the Mountain Championship.
After losing the title, he won the Bound for Glory Gold. Drake feuded with EC3 after losing to Eddie Edwards and lost. In 2017, Drake won a 20-man gauntlet match to win the Impact Championship. After 146 days, Drake lost the title to Austin Aries.
Drake feuded with Aries for the title and lost. In March, he won the feast or fired briefcase. At Redemption, Drake and Scott Steiner won the TNA World Tag Team Championship from LAX. In his final days, he had various feuds before being fired from the company.
In 2019, he signed with NWA and teamed up with James Storm. At NWA Hard Times, they won the NWA World Tag Team Championship. After dropping the titles, Drake left the company in 2021.
In 2021, he signed with WWE and began working for NXT. On NXT, they renamed him to LA Knight and feuded with Cameron Grimes. At TakeOver In Your House, he defeated Cameron Grimes in a ladder match to win the Million Dollar Championship. At TakeOver 36, he lost the title to Grimes.
After the launch of NXT 2.0, he lost to Bron Breakker. At WarGames, he joined Team Black and Gold and lost. In 2022, he feuded with Grayson Waller. At NXT Roadblock, Waller defeated Knight in a last-man-standing match. At Stand and Deliver, Gunther defeated L.A Knight.
LA Knight was called up to the WWE main roster in January 2022. Following his defeat at the hands of Gunther at Stand & Deliver, Knight left NXT and started making more appearances on SmackDown including dropping clues for a faction "Knight Model Management" which was ultimately revealed to be "Maximum Male Models".
Another surprise was the fact that he was renamed to Max Dupri. He led the group involving Mace, Mansoor, and later Maxxine Dupri. Following a string of defeats and disappointments, Dupri lashed out on the group and walked out in September. The following week, he fought with Mace and Mansoor. returning back to LA Knight.
Following Bray Wyatt's return to WWE, LA Knight was the first person to pick up a fight with him during the later part of 2022. The two fought in a Mountain Dew Pitch Black match at Royal Rumble 2023 where Knight lost. At WrestleMania SmackDown, Knight was eliminated by Bronson Reed in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The match was eventually won by Bobby Lashley. On June 2 episode of SmackDown, Knight defeated Montez Ford to qualify for the Men's Money in the Bank ladder match.
At the event, Knight failed to win the match. He then participated in Slim Jim Battle Royal at WWE SummerSlam 2023 and won the whole thing by lastly eliminating Sheamus. He had also eliminated The Miz in the match who was unimpressed with the overwhelming cheer the crowd made for Knight. This led to a feud between the two stars, leading to a match at WWE Payback 2023.
As per multiple sources, WWE Superstar LA Knight is worth around USD 3 Million in 2023.
LA Knight is married to American fitness enthusiast Michelle Yavulla. Not much is known of Yavulla's personal life like her date of birth, age and exact birthplace. She partook in various bodybuilding competitions in early days like finishing 5th in Baltimore Gladiator in 2016 and 3rd in 2017. According to her Instagram, she loves to travel and explore new adventures with her better half. Knight and Yavulla have two dogs and live in Orlando, Florida.
LA Knight is booked at 6 ft 1 inch in WWE.
The LA in LA Knight might denote Los Angeles, the city where he was born and brought up.
LA Knight's real name is Shaun Ricker.
LA Knight is married to American fitness enthusiast Michelle Yalluva.